Work on next year’s iPhone chips is already underway

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Apple chips are getting EMI shielding.
TSMC is building Apple's next-gen iPhone chips.
Photo: Apple

From the sound of things, Apple is focusing a lot of attention on next year’s iPhone launch as the biggest handset refresh since 2014’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

Alongside OLED displays, wireless charging, an all-glass enclosure and a lack of physical home button, the iPhone 7s (or possibly iPhone 8 if certain rumors are to be believed) will also include a next-next-gen A11 chip. And Apple’s already working on it.

Apple’s top chipmaker will double production ahead of iPhone 7

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armchipapple
TSMC is looking likely to be Apple's sole A10 manufacturer.
Photo: Apple

There’s a lot of talk about slowing iPhone sales, but you wouldn’t get that impression from the manufacturer set to build Apple’s A10 chips for the upcoming iPhone 7.

According to a new report, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company is doubling its monthly output capacity from 40,000 12-inch wafers in February to a whopping 80,000 in March.

Earthquake damage hits Apple’s A-series chipmaker

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A9 chips are on the way.
Bad news for TSMC.
Photo: Fabrizio Sciami/Flickr CC

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) might be on course to take over 100 percent of Apple’s A10 chip orders, but that’s not to say that it’s entirely without problems right now.

According to a new report, a recent earthquake which hit one of TSMC’s factories in southern Taiwan caused more damage than initially thought: with resulting wafer shipments for the first quarter of 2016 likely to fall as a result.

A9 chipmaker records highest earnings in its 29-year history

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armchipapple
There's money in chips.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), a.k.a. the world’s largest contract chip maker and one of Apple’s two suppliers for the present-gen A9 chip, has announced that its 2015 earnings were the highest in its 29-year history.

Contrasting with reports of developers said to be suffering the effects of weakened Apple orders, TSMC has thrived on the back of the iPhone 6 and 6s — with $9.15 billion in net profits this year alone, representing a 16.2 percent annual increase.

Apple may give Samsung the boot for iPhone 7 chip orders

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apple-vs-samsung
Samsung may be passed over for iPhone 7 chip orders.
Photo: Cult of Mac

After the “chipgate” event of the iPhone 6s — in which Samsung-manufactured A9 processors were rumored to perform worse than those built by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) — a new report suggests that Apple may give its South Korean frenemy the boot, and award 100 percent of its iPhone 7 A10 chip orders to TSMC.

Chipgate stokes anxiety, relief and some laughs over iPhone 6s

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Which chip is in your iPhone 6s?
Which chip is in your iPhone 6s?
Photo: techfast Lunch & Dinner/YouTube

Heading to social media to vent about Chipgate, some iPhone 6s owners are upset to discover that not all A9 chips are created equal.

Worse, some feel duped by Apple, which used two vendors to supply different versions of the chips in “identical” phones. Others worry about reports of inferior battery life — and some are thinking seriously about returning their new iPhones. Still others are playing the latest Apple controversy for laughs.

Real-world tests show benefits of iPhone 6s with the ‘good’ chip

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iPhone 6s teardown
Apple is lining up chip suppliers for the iPhone 7.
Photo: iFixit

iPhone 6s units with a TSMC A9 processor score two hours’ better battery life over those with Samsung chips in GeekBench test scores, but real-world gains of the “good” chip might be much less significant.

Several YouTubers have put the iPhone 6s TSMC and Samsung A9 chips to the test in real-world scenarios to get to the truth of Chipgate — and what they discovered was quite surprising.